This is a widely used term which can have a range of meanings. Whether it be a type of truck to rescue stranded motorists, a meeting point to collect someone or something, or a method to find a new girlfriend, to musicians it means only one thing – a way to make your guitar sound better and louder!
Just as a microphone is used for the voice, so a pickup is used to enhance the sound of an instrument, guitar, violin, trumpet, bass, or anything that produces sound. Read more
Fretting about guitar frets
Fretted instruments are by far the most common of all musical instruments, with the guitar topping the bill, especially the electric guitar. Familiar fretted instruments include mandolins, bouzoukis, bass guitars, banjos, dulcimers and numerous derivatives. There is a myriad of less familiar ones, some of them produced long ago, such as the Viola da Gamba, diverse ethnic instruments from all over the world, and a host of Chinese instruments. The thing they share in common is that they all have fingerboards and frets. What is it about fretted instrument that makes them so popular nowadays? Read More
Essentially a guitar setup comprises various adjustments to the instrument to make it easier to play, more accurate, and produce a better tone. This applies to all instruments to some degree or other. With reference to stringed instruments, the most common adjustment is to the ‘action’.
Action refers to to how high or low strings are above the fingerboard or frets. Low action means the strings are close to the fingerboard, therefore less effort is needed so it is less tiring. Read More
Nuts about nuts
Every guitar has one – that little piece of bone, plastic, wood, metal, etc. which supports the strings at the end of the fingerboard near the tuning pegs.
It may be small but it has a big job! We pay great attention to the nut in every guitar setup or guitar repair. It supports the strings at one end, keeping them comfortably spaced along and above the fingerboard. If either the spacing or heights are wrong, the results are from: ‘ it doesn’t feel right’, up to: it’s impossible to play. Read More
Mods and Rockers
In the mid sixties there were two groups of youth cultures known as Mods and Rockers. Mods wore suits or trendy clothes, listened to 60’s music by groups such as the Yardbirds and The Who, and drove scooters. Rockers wore leather jackets and jeans, listened to Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley and other 50’s rock and roll, had pompadour hairstyles, and rode motorbikes. In their heyday they descended by the hundreds on seaside towns on Bank Holidays, and ended up beating the hell out of each other! Read More
Attitudes to Building
We believe in taking a flexible and evolving approach to instrument construction, repairs and customising. Every player we meet has unique requirements such as tonal quality, dynamics, playability and of course aesthetics and overall design.
Therefore each instrument we build is tailor made for the particular client. Our instruments are a culmination of traditional hand crafting techniques incorporating the utmost sensitivity to the musician’s demands. Read More
The Silent Guitar
In our 40 odd years of experience as luthiers, we have concentrated on maximizing the sound and tonal qualities of acoustic instruments. So, as life sometimes bowls you over in its unpredictable ways, we were surprised by the challenge presented to us, to make a ‘silent guitar’ – what a paradox! The requirements were that it should have the same general feel, size and action as the customer’s concert classical guitar, but to produce minimal sound – even when played hard. The idea was to be able to practice freely without disturbing the family. Read More
Guitar Stringing Tips
Run the new string between thumb and fingertip from end to end.If you feel any kinks or bends, especially in the area that will span the bridge saddle and nut, discard the string – it will probably not intonate wellIn most cases when a bridge is ‘floating’ (eg. Fender strat, Floyd Rose), or loose (e.g. archtops, Jazz guitars, semi-acoustic – Gibson, D’Angelico, etc.)Read More